Farewell VISION 2018
It was good to be back in Stuttgart again and especially it was good to be at a thriving VISION show. It was also our second birthday and a lot has happened since we published the first issue of the magazine. We’re now planning ahead for the next two years.
Stuttgart is a wonderful city and a great host for the VISION show. This time I spent more nights in the bars and restaurants, enjoying the local food and beer. I also couldn’t resist a selfie in the hotel lift, which seemed to confirm that my hair did indeed depart many years ago and that I exist in many parallel universes.
VISION 2018 looked to be a tremendous success. The official figures bore that out, as did my own observations as I walked around the event floor. The booths looked very busy and even some of the parts of the exhibition floor which looked a little lacklustre in 2016, seemed more alive this time around. Of course, whether that translates into more orders, or possible orders, remains to be seen, but there was a buzz in the air, which reflects an industry which is currently very optimistic about its future.
I asked one senior industry executive what would be the big changes between this VISION and the next in 2020? We talked about the growing emphasis on embedded vision, deep learning and the Internet of Things, things we are all aware of, but he also said that there would likely be less companies exhibiting at VISION 2020. The point being that the consolidation we have seen over the last two years is set to continue and there will be less independent companies around by the start of the new decade. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as one of the consequences of the sector’s success over the last few years has been larger industrial groups acquiring machine vision companies for their various divisions. Look how TKH has just acquired Lakesight (I take a look at this nearer the back of the magazine)
It will be interesting to see how this trend pans out in 2019 and if management teams of middle-rank companies will decide this is a good time to take the cash whilst the going is good. It will also be fascinating to see if this puts pressure on the large machine vision companies who do not yet belong to groups, but will need to acquire companies in order to boost their proposition and earnings. We live, as they say, in interesting times.
I’m also aware that this is our last issue of the year, so I would like to wish you an early happy holidays and a great new year. Let’s hope 2019 will be as exciting as 2018. See you next year.